I have been thinking off and on about my 2011 goals for the last few months of 2010. With the calender year coming to an end I knew it was time to set the next ones, however I was having the hardest time being able to sort through all of them. My last post was a serious help to me. It seems that after completing a debrief of last years goals, I was able to put those babies to bed.
Almost as soon as I was done I was able to think clearly about my goals. I immediately opened up word and starting banging away at the keyboard with my goals, it only took 30 minutes to create the list, tweak it, re-tweak it, do the oh yeah that too, and then edit it.
Personally, when I set goals I use a system that I was taught in incident command training. If I understand correctly, this system is actually stolen from project management. In incident command you use it to set the goals needed to both end a critical situation, such as response to a bombing, as well as to set the goals needed to be completed to during smaller operational periods. The purpose of the system is to have "SMART" goals. The term smart is used as a mnemonic regarding the checks to see if you have set a good goal. There are multiple combinations of terms you can you, but I used the combination that I have used most in emergency services. In SMART goal setting here are the characteristics: S- Specific, M- Measurable, A- Attainable, R- Results-focused/Results-oriented, T- Time-bound.
Below I have listed my goals and if continue reading beyond them I have a summary and critique of my goal setting.
Get Weight to 186 lbs (ideally by 2/1/11)
Get weight down to 180 (ideally by first race)
Find optimal racing weight
Complete the 100 push up challenge by June
Complete the 200 sit up challenge by October
Begin martial arts training again if financially feasible
Try an IDPA shooting tournament if possible
Swim 100m in 1:30
Bike a 10 mile time-trial in 30 minutes
5k under 24 minutes
10k under 50 minutes
13.1 in under 1:50
Finish a marathon in less than 4 hours
Finish 1 sprint triathlon in under 1:10
Top three AG spot in the TrySports series
Complete a supported Century Ride
Complete a marathon
Complete an Olympic-distance triathlon
Complete a 70.3 mile triathlon
Complete at least 2 other events purely for fun i.e. endurance MTB race, Tri Relay, ultra-marathon.
First of all, I may have gone a little overboard going from 8 goals last year to 20 for 2011. You can also clearly see that I broke my goals down into three categories, although some of the goals can possibly be completed simultaneously. For instance during an event I may be able to swim 1:30 100's, complete a 10 mile bike leg in 30 minutes, and then run the 5k in under 24 minutes. This would be a really good day.
Starting with the S in SMART, I think that my last two personal goals, marital arts and shooting, could be more specific. Unfortunately, I can't make them more specific because those two are highly dependent on factors beyond my control making them kind of wavery. Many of the goals could be more specific, such as under my events I could state which 70.3 to complete or with performance goals I could put in what event I want to obtain them. However, Since I don't know where the year is going to take me at this point, I am happy with the specificity of my current goals.
Next, I check my goals to see if they are measurable. With the exception of one I would say they are all measurable. In fact, most are measurable by pass fail standards. the easiest of the pass fail standards is the "just complete". My one goal that is deficient in this area is the martial arts goal. I put begin, that is measurable, but poorly defined. Maybe something like attend 2 martial arts classes a month would be better.
Attainability is the killer with most of my goals. Not to say that they are not attainable, but I think it is the largest obstacle. First, any of my event goals, as well as martial arts, IDPA, and my series podium spot goal all hinge on important factor- money. The majority of my allowance goes to triathlon, so I would have to figure out the funding for martial arts as well as shooting. Money is somewhat under my control, however should I be hit by a truck on the way home and no longer have an income, all of the goals come crashing down. Secondly, there is a problem with the attainability of the performance goals. It is not that I THINK that they are attainable. They are challenging, for instance cutting my 100 meter swim time in half, in this case it is I do not have the knowledge base to know how to attain them. This is the problem with all of my performance goals. I need to figure out how to get there. This will mean consulting outside resources.
EDIT: I realized after writing this that I forgot about the Trysports series goal. This is also iffy as it will depend much on race conditions, how well I train, and on my competition. It is a series for beginner, but if advanced racer race down a category as training races or something I could potentially get creamed. This goal was based off the times reported last year for some of the races. For instance, the one here in my town I know for a fact I would have top three times because I know the times on the course I put while training. The bike and run leg are the bike and run leg I use for my brick workouts.
Result oriented is the easiest of all the steps for me. The performance goals are the result. The event goals are mostly major milestones and completing them are alone a result. The worst again in this area is the martial arts goal and "begin" is not clearly defined.
Lastly, is time oriented. This is another easy one for me. All of my performance goals have their own time for the time oriented characteristic. The weight loss goals have deadlines and for the events by the end of 2011 is the goal.
The goals are laid out and hopefully this will begin the shaping of an AWESOME year.
Note: a goal I did not list cause I am unsure of how to quantify it, will be volunteer at X number of races. I think this essential for our sport. the team sponsored by a local LBS have the requirement of racing X number and volunteering at X number.